Late Friday night, the Los Angeles Times Hero Complex Blog reported that director Alex Zamm is attached to helm a live-action Marvin the Martian film. Although Zamm hasn't directed many films (the direct-to-video Inspector Gadget 2 stands out as the highlight of his career thus far), he is also currently attached to a film version of Hong Kong Phooey.
You heard that right, two classic cartoon characters are being remade for the big screen by one director with mostly direct-to-video experience. Sorry, correction, it's not just direct-to-video movies. A quick look at IMDB shows that Zamm is also currently in post-production on Beverly Hills Chihuahua 2. Well, if that doesn't put your mind to rest, I don't know what will.
In addition to Zamm as director, Marvin the Martian will be written by the team of Paul Kaplan and Mark Torgrove who are also collaborating on a film version of the classic television show CHiPS. Wait a second... did I just type that correctly? The guy who is directing the movie and the guys who are writing the movie are working on nothing but remakes. What is wrong with Hollywood!?! If it weren't for Pixar, we wouldn't ever see original movies. But I digress.
According to the LA Times article, the Marvin film will be a Christmas-themed movie and is slated for release around Christmas time 2011. Here's the Times' one-sentence description of the film: "Marvin comes to Earth to try to destroy Christmas, but his plans are foiled when he gets trapped inside a gift box." Sorry, I think I just blacked out for a second. It's like I was writing and then all of a sudden I typed something so stupid I passed out.
A Christmas movie! Come on. Don't do that to Marvin! Please, I beg of you. Behind Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck, Marvin the Martian was easily my favorite Looney Tunes character, and I'm not the only one who likes him. From his Roman war helmet to the hilarious way he walked, Marvin is definitely one of the most popular Looney Tunes characters there is. In fact, I'm laughing just thinking about Marvin zapping Daffy Duck with his disintegrator gun (only to have Porky Pig bring Daffy back with his "integrator gun").
In an effort to bring some credibility to the movie, the LA Times article notes that comedian Mike Myers (known for his solid voice-work in the Shrek films among other things) is a name that's "come up." Who knows what that means, though. Maybe someone just said his name around the water cooler.
Anyway, I hope my initial impression of this movie is wrong, because I really like Marvin the Martian and I would hate to see such a funny character wasted. On the other hand, if I had never seen Space Jam before and you told me it was about Michael Jordan coming out of retirement to play basketball with the Looney Tunes against a bunch of monsters who had stole NBA players' powers, I might laugh in your face.
I suppose it's not fair to dismiss Zamm so quickly. Everybody has to get their start somewhere, right? It just seems like such a shame that rather than coming up with something original, studios are just reaching into their closet of properties to pull out a cheap family movie. What's next, a Foghorn Leghorn movie? Wait, forget I said that. I'd hate to give anyone an idea for Christmas 2012.
What do you think? Does Marvin the Martian in film form sound like a good idea to you? Just for fun, where do you rank Marvin in the pantheon of great Looney Tunes characters?
Source: LA Times